Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, and its parent company, Louis plc, a leading Cyprus-based tourism organization, are pleased to announce a definitive strategic investment agreement with funds managed by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight”), a leading global private investment firm.
As part of the partnership, Searchlight will make an investment into a new holding company, Celestyal Holdings. This will enable Celestyal Cruises to amplify its brand globally, build upon its success to-date and expand its operational footprint whilst growing and renewing its fleet. Celestyal Cruises will continue to operate its fleet of two ships from its offices in Piraeus, Greece with its current global management team leading the business. The Louis Group will continue as a shareholder in the new holding company.
“Prior to the pandemic, Celestyal was on a fast growth trajectory, and Searchlight’s infusion of capital will propel our growth strategy and accelerate our fleet renewal plan,” said Celestyal Cruises’ CEO, Chris Theophilides. “We are extremely pleased to have Searchlight as a strategic partner and are eager to join forces with them to build on our positive momentum, amplify our global brand awareness and elevate our award-winning guest experience, taking it to new heights. Our 2022 season is already looking solid and with this significant development, we are extremely excited about Celestyal’s journey ahead.”
“The cruise industry has shown a tremendous amount of resilience coming out of the pandemic, and as Greece’s major, home-porting cruise line, Celestyal has played a pivotal role in the country’s strong tourism recovery,” said Searchlight Partner, Ralf Ackermann. “We are excited to support Chris and his management team and to work with the Louis Group to be involved in the next chapter of Celestyal’s growth. We believe this partnership will help to reinforce the company’s position as the leading cruise operator in the Eastern Mediterranean region and enhance its uniquely authentic experiences and operating footprint.”
“Celestyal Cruises has always been a strong and robust regional expert, and a key component of our tourism portfolio,” said Costakis Loizou, Executive Chairman of the Louis Group. “With the added financial resources of Searchlight, Celestyal is destined for an even brighter future, and we look forward to being part of realizing Celestyal’s full potential.”
Louis plc was advised by financial advisors, Houlihan Lokey, London; legal advisors, Hill Dickinson, London and Chryses Demetriades, Cyprus; and tax advisors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cyprus.
Searchlight was advised by legal advisors, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; financial advisors, Alvares & Marsal; tax advisors, KPMG, insurance advisors, Lockton; and technical advisors Renaissance Shipbroking.